Egoistic love must also exist

Where the cause of love lies not in the one who loves but in the object of love, this form and kind of love in the sense world is absolute proof against every luciferic influence. But now if you observe human life, you will soon see that another kind of love is playing its part, in which a person loves because he himself has certain qualities that feel satisfied, or charmed, or delighted, when he can love this or that other being. Here he loves for his own sake; he loves because his disposition is thus or so, and this particular disposition finds its satisfaction in loving someone else.

This love, which one can call egoistic love, must also exist. It really has to be present in mankind. Everything we can love in the spiritual world, all the spiritual facts, everything that love can cause to live in us as a longing for and an impulse upwards into the spiritual world, to comprehend the beings of the spiritual world, to perceive the spiritual world: all this springs naturally from a sentient love for that world. This love for the spiritual, however, must — not may but must — come about necessarily for our own sake. We are beings whose roots are in the spiritual world. It is our duty to make ourselves as perfect as we can. For our own sake we must love the spiritual world in order to draw as many forces as possible out of it into our own being. In spiritual love a personal, individual element — we can call it egoistic — is fully justified, for it detaches man from the sense world; it leads him upwards into the spiritual world; it leads him on to fulfill the necessary duty of continually bringing himself further and further towards perfection.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 147 – Secrets of the Threshold – Lecture 2 – Munich, 25th August 1913

Translated by Ruth Pusch

Previously posted on april 9, 2020


Truth is the leader of mankind towards unity and mutual understanding, and also the precursor of justice and love

Truth is a lofty goal. This is shown by the fact that truth, in the sense intended here, is recognised today in one limited realm only. It is only in the realm of mathematics that humanity in general has reached the goal of truth, for here men have curbed their passions and desires and kept them out of the way. Why are all men agreed that three times three makes nine and not ten? Because no emotion comes into it, Men would agree on the highest truths if they had gone as far with them as they have with mathematics. The truths of mathematics are grasped in the inmost soul, and because they are grasped in this way, we possess them. We would still possess them if a hundred or a thousand people were to contradict us; we would still know that three times three makes nine because we have grasped this fact inwardly. If the hundred or thousand people who take a different view were to get away from themselves, they would come to the same truth.

What, then, is the way to mutual understanding and unity for mankind? We understand one another in the field of reckoning and counting because here we have met the conditions required. Peace, concord and harmony will prevail among men to the extent that they find truth. That is the essential thing: that we should seek for truth as something to be found only in our own deepest being; and should know that truth ever and again draws men together, because from the innermost depth of every human soul its light shines forth.

So is truth the leader of mankind towards unity and mutual understanding, and also the precursor of justice and love. Truth is a precursor we must cherish, while the other precursor, anger, that we came to know yesterday, must be overcome if we are to be led by it away from selfishness. That is the mission of truth: to become the object of increasing love and care and devotion on our part. Inasmuch as we devote ourselves inwardly to truth, our true self gains in strength and will enable us to cast off self-interest. Anger weakens us; truth strengthens us.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul / Paths of Experience – Volume One: Lecture 3: The Mission of Truth – Berlin, 22nd October 1909

Translated by C. Davy and C. von Arnim


Social feelings in the place of unsocial instincts and passions

Spiritual science rises out of the whole human being, and it even brings to the fore things in which the human being takes a secondary interest. Although even spiritual science apparently develops intellectual concepts, it is nevertheless able to convey real things which contain a social element in the place of the anti-social element.

You see, in many ways we should consider the world from a different standpoint than the ordinary one of the nineteenth century and of the early twentieth century. At that time it was considered as praiseworthy that social requirements and social problems were so amply discussed. But those who have an insight into the world, merely see in this a symptom showing the presence of a great amount of unsocial feelings in the human beings. Just as those who speak a great deal of love, are generally unloving, whereas those who have a great amount of love do not speak much of love, so the people who continually speak of social problems, as was the case in the last third of the nineteenth century, are, in reality, completely undermined by unsocial instincts and passions.

The social system which came to the fore in Eastern Europe is nothing but the proof of every form of unsocial and anti-social life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 206 – Human Evolution, Cosmic Soul, Cosmic Spirit — II – Dornach, August 6, 1921

Previously posted on January 2, 2020


Immense weight on the soul

It may happen that we meet a person in the spiritual world but remain cut off from him because of our feelings or affection or dislike that envelop us like a visionary cloud. Such meetings after death are accompanied by deep feeling, by a real inner experience, and this is most important.

We might feel, for example, that we have not loved someone on earth as much as we should have done and now after death, notwithstanding that we are in his presence and wish to love him more, we find that we can only bring as much affection as we had for him on earth. This is true in spite of our earnest desire to love him more and make amends for what we failed to do on earth. 

We experience this sense of limitation, this total incapacity to develop further one’s inner powers, as an immense weight on the soul after death.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Investigations Into Life Between Death and Rebirth: Lecture 1 – Milan, October 26, 1912

Translated by R. M. Querido

Previously posted on December 6, 2019


I felt my girlfriend like something of the sun in my life

Between the younger daughter and me there gradually came about a beautiful friendship (In about the years 1879-1884 Steiner had a friend in Vienna where he often visited the family. This younger daughter was a sister of that friend. RvD). She really had in her something of the primal type of the German maiden. She bore in her soul nothing acquired from her education, but expressed in her life an original and charming naturalness together with a noble reserve, and this reserve of hers caused a like reserve in me. We loved each other, and both of us were fully aware of this; but neither of us could overcome the fear of saying that we loved each other. Thus the love lived between the words we spoke to each other, and not in the words themselves. I felt the relationship as to our souls was of the most universal kind; but it found no possibility of taking a single step beyond what is of the soul.

I was happy in this friendship; I felt my girlfriend like something of the sun in my life. Yet this life later bore us far apart. In place of hours of happy companionship there then remained only a short-lived correspondence, followed by the melancholy memory of a beautiful period of my past life – a memory, however, which has through all my later life arisen again and again from the depths of my soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 28 – The Story of my Life: Chapter VII